Jason Keller is having one hell of a year. Rarely does a screenwriter gain the amount of notoriety as quickly as he has in just a few months. The Hollywood Reporter has announced that the writer will collaborate with director Matt Reeves to write the adaptation of Justin Cronin’s 2009 bestseller “The Passage” for Fox 2000.
After directing “Let Me In,” a surprisingly impressive American adaptation of the Swedish vampire novel “Let The Right One In,” Reeves is returning to vampire lore with an equally abnormal story of the undead. Keller will write the script for what we can assume will be the first film in a new franchise as Cronin has plans to release the sequel “Twelve” in the near future and an unnamed third book later on.
This fall, Relativity Media will release “Machine Gun Preacher” which Keller wrote and is directed by Marc Forster (“Quantam of Solace” “The Kite Runner”). He also co-wrote Relativity’s untitled “Snow White” project which just began filming with visionary director Tarsem Singh (“The Fall”). If that wasn’t enough, Keller’s script “Go Like Hell” is in development with Fox with Michael Mann in the director’s chair. At this rate, every third film will be written by the young scribe in a matter of a few years. As for Reeves, he’s juggling a few projects right now including the Frankenstein pic “This Dark Endeavor” and an adaptation of the sci-fi short story “8 O’Clock In The Morning.”
The first draft of “The Passage” was written by John Logan (“Rango” “The Last Samurai“) when Ridley Scott was attached to direct. Scott will still serve as producer on the project. Below is plot a summary of “The Passage” from Publisher’s Weekly:
Fans of vampire fiction who are bored by the endless hordes of sensitive, misunderstood Byronesque bloodsuckers will revel in Cronin’s engrossingly horrific account of a post-apocalyptic America overrun by the gruesome reality behind the wish-fulfillment fantasies. When a secret project to create a super-soldier backfires, a virus leads to a plague of vampiric revenants that wipes out most of the population. One of the few bands of survivors is the Colony, a FEMA-established island of safety bunkered behind massive banks of lights that repel the virals, or dracs—but a small group realizes that the aging technological defenses will soon fail. When members of the Colony find a young girl, Amy, living outside their enclave, they realize that Amy shares the virals’ agelessness, but not the virals’ mindless hunger, and they embark on a search to find answers to her condition. PEN/Hemingway Award–winner Cronin (The Summer Guest) uses a number of tropes that may be overly familiar to genre fans, but he manages to engage the reader with a sweeping epic style.